Fishermen in Bangladesh’s southeastern Cox’s Bazar district, which is situated along the Bay of Bengal, are now busy drying fish in the traditional way. In Bangladesh, mid-October to mid-February is the peak fish drying season when open-air drying using sun and wind has been done since ancient times.
In Cox’s Bazar’s Nazirar Tek village, the largest dried fish-producing village in the country, thousands have made temporary settlements for fish drying under the sun. Locally known as “shutki palli,” meaning the place where dried fish is produced, Cox’s Bazar produces reportedly 1.50 lakh tons of dried fish, meeting 85 percent of the country’s demand. Md Rafiq Uddin, a local dry fish trader, told Xinhua recently that “Qutubdiapara in Nazira Tech is the number one place of Cox’s Bazar Sadar (sub-district). It is the country’s largest dry fish hub with more than 40,000 families living there, living on the sea.
Locals always try to produce the finest dried fish, said the trader, adding that many shops have been established as tourists flocked here to purchase the products. Meanwhile, the locally-produced dried fish are popular not only in Bangladesh but also in other countries for its high quality and low price.
Md Kaiser is a dry fish trader whose family has been making dried fish for generations. “We do not use chemicals in fish here, the quality of the fish is better in winter,” he told Xinhua, adding that they sell dried fish in Chattogram, a large port city on the southeastern coast of Bangladesh, where the products will be sent to cities at home and abroad. Kaiser noted that this famed specialty has also won the favor of Chinese people who come to Bangladesh. “It’s hoped that we can have more and more business with Chinese people,” said Kaiser.